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overhead view of trees

Are You Barking Up the Wrong Tree? Explore Penn Plant Explorer!

Blanche P. Levy Park at Penn, commonly known as “College Green,”
Blanche P. Levy Park at Penn, commonly known as “College Green,” featuring Ulmus americana ('Penn Treaty Elm'), a descendent of the original American elm under which William Penn, founder of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, signed a treaty of friendship with Lenape Chief Tamanend in 1682.

Have you ever walked Penn’s campus and wondered what kind of trees loomed ahead? Have you ever wandered the leafy campus looking for a quiet park in which to sit? Have you ever wondered about the beauty of Penn’s green campus, especially as it is in the middle of the country’s fifth largest city? Well wonder no more, Penn Plant Explorer answers all your questions!

To the surprise of many, the Morris Arboretum isn’t the only Penn arboretum: the University’s West Philadelphia core campus is also an accredited Level II Arboretum, making Penn the only Ivy League whose working campus is an accredited arboretum. Of our campus’s 300 hundred acres, 100 are green spaces, home to approximately 6,300 trees and 240 species, many of which are mature and historic. Not only are these trees magnificent in their seasonal beauty but they are also hardworking members of Penn’s campus, storing well over a million pounds of carbon and annually saving the University many thousands of dollars in building heating/cooling energy costs.

Through the Penn Plant Explorer interactive website, anyone with a mobile device can easily locate and identify trees and shrubs across the campus. There’s a number of staff-curated tours (e.g. Historic and Significant Trees, Trees of Locust Walk, Class Trees) and users can organize their searches by individual interests. Trees can also be located and identified by scientific names, common names, or plant families. If you are looking for a green space in which to stroll or relax, a map of all campus gardens and parks is included as well. You can even create your own tour!

So if you would like to learn more about trees in general, are curious about the University’s special collection, looking for an outdoor learning activity to share with family and friends, or simply searching for a quiet green spot, pull up Penn Plant Explorer and let the fun begin! 

For more information, please check out the Penn Campus Arboretum website